As part of the ancient grains, amaranth is a grain that has been harvested for many thousands of years.
Similar to quinoa and other ancient grains, amaranth is rich in fiber and protein, and the best way to preserve these delicious nutrients is to cook the seeds properly.
When you cook amaranth for the first time, you may expect it to be fluffy, similar to quinoa, but it looks and tastes somewhat different.
We find out how to cook amaranth the right way, and what else you can do with this famous grain.
What Is Amaranth?
Although amaranth is a member of the ancient grains family, it isn’t actually a grain.
Amaranth is a so-called pseudocereal, which means that it is a seed, similar to quinoa and buckwheat.
In fact, both quinoa and amaranth belong to the Amaranthaceae family.
Compared to other grains, amaranth is much smaller. It’s just a little larger than a poppy seed.
You can prepare amaranth in a range of different ways (check out our cooking guide below), from cooking the whole seed to grinding it into flour.
As amaranth is gluten-free, it is ideal for all gluten-free diets and gluten-free products for both savory and sweet recipes
This seed is very popular in Indian and Asian cuisine, where it is typically called “ramdana” which means “God’s grain”.
How To Cook Amaranth
Thanks to its versatility, amaranth can be used in a range of different ways and dishes.
You can roast, pop or boil it, or you can even just add it to your dishes raw for a little extra crunch.
This makes it a fantastic alternative to quinoa, buckwheat, rice and some other popular grains that you should use for your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes.
How To Cook Amaranth Seeds
There are a number of different ways that you can cook amaranth seeds. Here are the most popular methods.
The most gentle way to make your amaranth seeds digestible is cooking it similar to rice. Use one cup of amaranth and one and a half cups of water.
First, bring the water to the boil in a medium pot and then add the amaranth. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a lid and allow the seeds to simmer for around 20 minutes.
The water should be fulled absorbed and the amaranth seeds should be soft.
You can also cook amaranth a little bit faster when you use a multi-cooker.
Just put the amaranth, one and a half cups of water and a quarter teaspoon of salt into the cooker pot.
Your multi-cooker should have a setting for “multigrain” or similar.
Select this option and then adjust the pressure to select the cooking time for 12 minutes.
Once your amaranth has finished cooking, just allow the steam to vent and your grains should be ready to eat.
If you cook amaranth in the right way, then these seeds have a light sweetness to them. They also become a little more like porridge in consistency.
This makes them ideal as a delicious breakfast cereal.
You can use one and a half cups of liquid (water, milk or apple juice) with half a cup of amaranth. This will result in around one and a half cups of amaranth porridge.
First, put the water or your favorite juice and the amaranth in a small pot, then bring it to a boil.
Next, reduce the heat and leave the seeds to gently simmer without a lid on the pot.
The water should be fully absorbed after around 20 minutes.
It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the amaranth while cooking as it can quickly turn mushy towards the end if you leave it to sit for too long.
Once ready, you should serve it immediately. Try some nuts, fruit, cinnamon or other natural sweeteners, like honey.
Popped Amaranth Seeds
Another fantastic way to cook your amaranth seed is just by popping them, similar to popcorn.
First, add a tablespoon of uncooked amaranth into a dry, hot skillet. Be careful as the amaranth seeds will pop immediately.
Although these seeds are very small, then can double in volume when popped. However, they are still relatively small compared to, for example, popcorn.
Popped amaranth seeds are ideal to add to granola or baked goods. They give your dishes a toasted flavor with some added texture.
Combine With Other Grains
If you love your grains, then you can also combine amaranth with other grains, such as buckwheat (Find out What Buckwheat Taste Like Here) or brown rice.
As amaranth has a slightly nutty sweetness, it will give your dish a more unique flavor.
Simply use a ratio of three quarters cup other grains to one quarter cup of amaranth.
Thanks to its gelatinous properties, amaranth is ideal for thickening stews and soups.
Just add a couple of tablespoons of the seeds to your soup, and you will notice how it quickly thickens.
How To Bake With Amaranth Flour
Another great way to use amaranth seeds is by grinding the seeds and baking with the flour.
This gluten-free flour is very dense, so you should limit the amount to around a quarter of flour stated in the original recipe.
If you add too much amaranth flour to your baked goods, they will become very dense.
How To Store Amaranth?
Like other grains, you should store amaranth in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.
The whole seeds can also be stored in the freezer for up to six months. We’d recommend storing the flour in the freezer as well (also up to six months).
If you notice a rancid smell coming from the amaranth grains, then they have gone off and you should dispose of them.
Amaranth is so versatile that you can use it in so many different ways, and a large range of dishes.
From your breakfast cereal to your side salad for dinner, amaranth is a great, gluten-free alternative to rice.